Petros Gumbi

Petros’ superb sculpting ability is described by Fèe Halsted as surpassing even that of Ardmore’s legendary Bonnie Ntshalintshali.

His amazing creations, which often include human figures, have been exhibited all over the world. He has travelled with them to Kuala Lampur and London where he participated in the Christie’s exhibition in January 2003 and 2004.

His ‘John Dunn’ historical sculpture was exhibited the K.I.T. Trompen Museum in Amsterdam and he was invited to participate with South Africa’s leading ceramicists in the prestigious Earthworks Claybodies exhibition in Stellenbosch.

In 2011 Petros created a large white tiered sculpture depicting what South Africa needs to sustain its natural environment. The work was delicately painted in monchrome by Sthabisu Hadebe.

Delegates from around the globe came to Umhlanga Rocks in KwaZulu-Natal for the COP 17 summit to discuss global warming. Petros’ sculpture was displayed at the Beverley Hills Hotel and was later purchased by a ceramic collector in New York and is now is housed in a private museum, WMODA, in Florida.

Petros was also commissioned by Bridget Radebe to create a wedding present for Princess Charlene and Prince Albert of Monaco. The tiered sculpture shows Madiba giving the royal couple his blessing.

In 2015 Ardmore celebrated 30 years and Petros was given the task of creating 30 numbered figurative works depicting storytellers. These works pay tribute to Ardmore’s former artists including Bonnie Ntshalintshali, Wonderboy Nxumalo and Phineus Mweli. Each Zulu figure holds miniature replica of famous works that have made their mark in Ardmore’s 30 year journey.

Petros was born in 1973 in a village near Escourt in KwaZulu-Natal. After his mother died and his father remarried, he lived with his maternal grandmother who encouraged him to sculpt.

When his father died, however, he travelled to Johannesburg where he found employment as a store packer.

In 1999, not long after he returned to KwaZulu-Natal, his uncle, Nhlanhla Nsudwane, an esteemed sculptor at Ardmore, introduced Petros to Fèe Halsted. With his talent, Petros quickly gained top status as a sculptor.

He says that Ardmore has given wing to his spirit and a reason to live. He is one of four representatives of the Ardmore Excellence Fund.

Petros’ wife, Valencia, died in 2013 and in 2014 Petros remarried and now lives with his wife and son in Lidgetton.

In 2016 Petros left Ardmore to work as an independent artist.

Exhibitions

Awards


Korean Biennale (Merit award)

Exhibitions

2000


ABSA BankJohannesburg

2001


International Ceramic Arts FestivalWales

Hospice ExhibitionJohannesburg

SA Embassy ExhibitionMalaysia

2002


Charles Greig JewellersJohannesburg

2003


Christie’s exhibitionLondon

2004


Christie’s auctionLondon

City Arts CouncilEdinburgh

‘Men of Ardmore’Johannesburg

2005


Private exhibitionLondon

Christipher GreigJohannesburg

2006


Amaridian GalleryNew York

Private exhibitionLondon

Everard Read GalleryJohannesburg

2007


Christie’s AuctionLondon

‘Cats of the World’Johannesburg

2008


Amaridian GalleryNew York

‘Wonderful World of Ardmore’Cape Town

2009


South Africa HouseLondon

2010


Anagama GalleryFrance

Pascoe & Co.United States

SOFA (Sculpture Objects & Functional Art)United States

‘Travellers of Africa’Johannesburg

2011


‘Ivory and Ebony’Cape Town

‘Clay: The Art of Earth & Fire'United States

Hallwyl MuseumSweden

NAADA (National Antiques & Decorative Arts) FaireJohannesburg

Eboka Spring CollectionPretoria

AnagamaFrance

2012


International Ceramic ShowUnited States

‘Ardmore Aviary’Cape Town

Les Ceramiques Zouloues ArdmoreFrance

Endangered Animals’London

An African CollectionAustralia

Naada FaireJohannesburg

Ardmore fabric and book launchCape Town

‘Grand Carnival’Johannesburg

ArdmoreLuxembourg

ArdmoreMauritius

ArdmoreFrance

ArdmoreGeneva

Patrick Mavros Christmas Safari WeekLondon

A celebration of Zulu Life and ArtistryUnited States

Ardmore AustraliaAustralia

2013


Pascoe & Co.United States

‘Monkeys and Magnolias’London

Naada FaireJohannesburg

David Walters and FriendsKimberley

Hermanus Fyn ArtsHermanus

‘Just So Crocodiles and Other Curiosities’Johannesburg

Safari WeekLondon

Patrick MavrosZimbabwe

2014


‘Great Herds of Africa’Cape Town

‘Great Herds of Africa’London

Legacy showPietermaritzburg

‘Inspired by the Ocean’Hermanus

‘Birds of Africa’Johannesburg

‘Great Herds of Africa'Kenya

Corobrick National Ceramic Show/Legacy exhibitionCape Town

‘Birds of Africa’Zimbabwe

2015


WMODA, Pascoe & Co.United States

‘Animal Botanical'Cape Town